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A young adult series, written by James Patterson, about evil adults trying to kill Totally Radical teenage bird kids on the run from the man. Loosely inspired by his adult books The Lake House and When The Wind Blows, though the series are unrelated. It's Better Than It Sounds, at least for the first three books. The series is divided into two parts: The Fugitives (books 1-3) and The Protectors (books 4 and up).

The series also takes Xanatos Roulette to the extreme, hinting that the kids are actually working for the bad guys who are really good guys secretly working for the . . . well, it becomes so nonsensical that there's no way the author could ever explain it without using the whole "It was just a simulation" cliche, which he seems to be surely working his way towards.

The latest books have turned what once was a sci-fi/fantasy with werewolves and Angelic bird kids trying to survive on their own because adults are either useless or evil, into a green-peace, stop polluting, global warming sucks, save the earth with love and happiness adventure that has the kids going from Werewolf fighting to saving penguins in the Antarctic in five seconds flat.

Recently, a cult appeared in ANGEL. They want to kill all the humans. And give love and caring.

There is also an OEL Manga made by NaRae Lee, which follows the plot from the start of the first book.

Provides Examples of:

  • The Ace: Omega from Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports was built/raised to be this.
  • Adults Are Useless: Although they're more often evil than useless, and there is the occasional exception.
  • Adventure Towns
  • Author Filibuster: Book 4 of the Young Adult series was basically James Patterson's 272 page long rant about global warming, only you have to pay for it.
  • Artistic License Geography: Max claims in The Final Warning that "every last freaking, gol-danged thing" in Antarctica is white. In reality, exposed rock is visible along many areas of the coastline, and the ice tends to appear rose- or emerald-colored rather than white.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Maximum Ride is her name.
    • Well, she did choose it herself.
      • Actually, there's an even split between this and Fail O'Suckyname. On one side, you have Maximum Ride, Fang, and Angel. On the other hand, we also have Iggy, the Gasman, and Nudge.
      • And bear in mind that to some,Max's name is a bit narmy, considering what "ride" is a slang term for.
  • Betty and Veronica: In the sixth book, Fang and some other guy named Dylan for Max. Then again, Dylan is designed to be her perfect half.
  • Big Eater: Justified in that the winged kids eat huge amounts of food at every meal where they have the opportunity, since they need extra energy to power their superpowers.
    • Also justified when you consider how often the Flock goes without any food, sometimes for days at a time, so it's completely understandable that once presented with ample amounts, they would stuff themselves just shy of getting sick because they couldn't be sure when their next meal would be; or of what quality it might be (i.e. Dumpster diving being a regular one-stop shop for the hungry mutant bird kid on the run).
  • Bio Punk
  • Bishonen: Many people think Iggy and Fang (especially Fang) were turned into these for the manga. See for yourself
  • Black Hole Belly: Star, and how!
  • Brainwashed: Iggy, Ella, members of the Doomsday Group, the audience who attend their rallies. Details on how Doomsday Group do this are unexplained for now.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Angel's ability to breath underwater turns out to be really useful in the fifth book.
  • Comic Book Adaptation: The OEL Manga series that was adapted from the books by Na Rae Lee and Published by Yen Press. Highly recommended for manga fans.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Used egregiously with reckless abandon in the YA series.
  • A Crack in the Ice: This happens in the fourth book.
  • Creepy Child: Angel.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Max, Fang, Nudge, Dr. Martinez, Ella, and probably even more.
    • Max's curtains were originally supposed to match the window (brown and brown), but she suddenly became a blond in Book 2, then went back to brown, then back to blond, then back to brown the manga adaption, and almost all cover art for the books, she is solidly a blond, however.
  • Cult: The Doomsday Group. With love and caring.
  • Deadpan Snarker: One of the many reasons why it's so amusing reading a series written through the eyes of a cynical teenage girl.
    • Iggy could also qualify as one.
      • Though he gets noticeably less snarky later on in the series.
    • Fang is at some points, as well.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The fifth book, "MAX: A Maximum Ride Novel".
    • Later justified because subsequent volumes sport such titles as "FANG: A Maximum Ride Novel" and "ANGEL: A Maximum Ride Novel."
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: The Krelp.
  • Doppelganger: Max even comments that "Doppelganger" is a cool word. Which it is.
  • Evil Twin Max 2 (Renamed Maya in ANGEL) for Max.
  • Expy
  • Face Heel Turn: Angel has done this multiple times (except in third book since it was part of Max's idea). Despite this, she's Easily Forgiven by the next book and turns back to her old self. For now...
    • Possibly: Jeb and Dr. Martinez after they're believed to be involved with the Doomsday Group. Poor Max...
  • Fake Defector
  • Fauxlosophic Narration: If the first paragraph of your book warns that "This could happen to you!", the second paragraph should probably not say, "I was genetically engineered in a lab and have wings."
  • Franchise Zombie: As the initial summary said, the entire theme and plot of the series was scrapped with book 4, and after everything basically concluded with three.
  • Gender Blender Name: You'd be surprised by how many people think Max is a dude.
  • Geek Physiques: ter Borcht being the second type, and Jeb possibly the first type.
  • Government Conspiracy
  • Green Aesop: Throughout the entire fourth book. And it continues afterward.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Red Haired Wonder, anyone?
  • Heel Face Turn: Ari in the third book.
  • Idiot Ball: The villains in book 2. They replace Max with a clone and have her infiltrate the flock. Apparently they forgot that Angel (whom they gave the power to) can read minds. It's unknown if Max 2 was aware of this.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ari, and the rest of the Erasers due to their expiration dates.
  • Kudzu Plot: Partway through the third book of the YA series, it becomes clear that there is no overarching plot, and the author is really just stringing together random twists for the hell of it.
  • Lego Genetics: The whole DNA splicing thing.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Max, at least, insists to everyone that's what she and Fang are. Riiiiiiiight.
  • Max, I Am Your Father: And later I am your mother.
  • The Man Behind the Man: To the second or third power.
  • Mind Screw: In the third book, the Flock wakes up in the School and is told that the last four years of their lives have been nothing but a drug-induced hallucination. This includes the loss of their talking dog, as well as the scars Max got earlier in the book. Fortunately, it turns out that the whole thing was just a lie to get the Flock to stop trying to evade the School.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: They also get quite a few powers that are not in any way relevant to the plot and are never brought up again.
  • Odd Couple: Akila and Total. Akila's a purebred that's much bigger and heavier than Total, while Total is a talking dog that could fly.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel
  • Plot Hole: In the first book, we discover that the Flock had parents, and Iggy's mom died, but his dad is alive. Fast-forward to book 2, when who should show up but both his parents, alive and well and ready to make money off of him.
    • There is a sort of throwaway line from Jeb in one of the books, I think the third, where he mentions that they information the bird kids found at the Institute was probably planted by the Director. Still never mentioned again...
    • It is also stated at some point in the same book that Iggy's mother was the one that died. In fact, most of the explanations they get from Angel on their parenting either don't exactly fit with or go directly against the information they get from the Institute.
    • Fang start off with Angel predicting that Fang will be the first member of The Flock to die, prompting much angst from the other members because "Angel is never wrong." This is somewhat bizarre as while Angel has manifested many abilities over the course of the series, the ability to see the future has not been one of them, leading this idea to come almost completely from nowhere.
      • Max even jokes/notes in an earlier book that she hopes Angel hasn't gained the ability to predict the future.
      • Actually, didn't she stop Max getting shot in the fifth book? And she often claims to have 'feelings' about things. Maybe this talent just isn't as obvious as her other ones.
    • A major plot hole that bothered me as soon as I read it - In the third book, Saving The World and Other Extreme Sports, right near the end The Director claims to be a successful, viable hybrid creature: A cross of Human and Galapagos Tortoise. She states that she is 107 years old. The problem with this is the implication that the technology for gene splicing existed in the year 1900.
      • Well, it could make sense, Itex was apparently really good at keeping secrets...
  • Promotion to Parent- Max, and Fang somewhat.
  • Purple Prose: Everything about Dylan's perfect physical features (hair, eyes, muscles, and even singing voice) have been described this way since his first appearance. In the same book, Fang also gets this treatment.
  • Put on a Bus: Fang, at the end of book six. But The Bus Came Back in the next one.
  • Random Events Plot
  • Roundhouse Kick: A common move, especially in the first book.
  • Rule of Cool
  • Science Is Bad
    • Given the author's track record with people attempting to put the kids in a safe place where they can receive something resembling an education, so apparently is school.
      • Not necessarily, seeing as in Fang, Max actually makes the flock educate themselves.
  • Secret Project Refugee Family
  • Series Continuity Error: In the seventh book, Max II (er, Maya) says to Max, "Gee, I haven't seen you since you tried to kill me." The most recent time they met, in the third book, they were having a civilized conversation.
  • Shout-Out: One of the chapters in the fifth book is called We all Live in a Deadly Submarine
  • Soft Water: In Saving The World And Other Extreme Sports, Fang describes diving into the ocean from 500 feet up as equivalent to God punching his face. He survives, though, completely unharmed and swimming back to shore in a matter of minutes.
  • Stern Chase/Stuff Blowing Up: Iggy and Gazzy are the resident pyros.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: It is implied in the third book of the young adult series that the evil scientists who created the protagonists are actually Nazis. Which would make Roland an Expy of Josef Mengele...
  • Team Mom: Max has to constantly take care of the Flock.
  • They'd Cut You Up
  • Totally Radical
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: Angel in FANG with the gun. Sure it's ANGEL, but...brr.
  • Viewers are Morons: In the young adult series, some concepts are hammered in three or four times just in case they didn't sink in the first time. Ari's jealousy of Max, for instance.
    • Or the fact that Iggy is blind. Patterson still feels the need to mention this.
      • AND in case anyone forgot what Dylan looked like, Patterson jams in his perfect features in the form of Purple Prose.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the first book, the Flock frees a winged kid from a cage in an underground lab, who then leaves. They don't mind, and she's never, ever mentioned or heard from again. Is she dead? Do they care that there's another bird kid like them, out there alone? Isn't this of interest to anyone, such as the people trying to track down bird kids?!
    • On a more depressing note, the third book reveals that Itex has been gathering up all experiments and killing them. Given the sheer reach of the company and the fact that the freed kids from the lab probably don't have the Flock's training in stealth and hiding, there's the good chance that they were recaptured and died...
    • One would still think that Max and company would think about them at some point, at least -once-...
    • You think that's bad? When Dylan is introduced in Fang Max even says that it was the first time they had ever met another bird-kid. Apparently that girl they rescued had been totally removed from her memory not to mention her own clone
    • In the second book, the Flock runs into two kids in the woods in Florida. The kids claim that they were both kidnapped by scientists, both were clearly starved, and Angel claims to get strange images of water from the minds and knows that neither are ordinary children (though she doesn't think they're mutants). The kids later confess that they were held captive by Itex and were sent to find the Flock and told that if they didn't succeed, something in the woods would eat them. These kids are never mentioned again.
    • In the third book, when breaking into the School in Germany, Max and her group sees that there are only clones of Nudge and Angel. These clones are never explained, used for the plot, or even remembered after the event. This is odd when one considers how (rightfully) offended Max was that she herself was cloned and replaced, but apparently can't be bothered to think about why only the two other girls on the team were also cloned, nor the implications of it.
  • Winged Humanoid
  • Xanatos Roulette: Oh, don't even get us started. It's like the only point of uncovering a Xanatos Roulette is to discover another one.
  • You Fail Biology Forever: To begin with, the whole premise of splicing bird DNA into humans. There are also a few relatively smaller mistakes, such as hawks nesting in large groups and large sharks in less than 5 foot deep water.
  • Younger Than They Look: Nudge. Angel even wonders if a boy looking at her in the sixth book that's around sixteen knows that Nudge is only twelve. Dylan also appears to be around Max's and Fang's age, but really nine months old.
    • Ari. His appearance is that of an adult man, but really is only around seven years old.
    • The graphic novel.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: All of the female characters are given this during the manga int the third volume. Unfortunately, it's only Grade C.